Running SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines provides a suite of free manageability capabilities that are available only on Azure, and which make it easier to run in a cost effective, secured and optimized manner. Microsoft introduced the Azure SQL family of database services to provide customers with a consistent, unified experience across an entire SQL portfolio and a full range of deployment options from edge to cloud. As a SQL Server customer, you can migrate your SQL workloads to SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines while making the most of your current SQL Server license investments and benefit from the manageability benefits that SQL Server virtual machines offer today. Running SQL Server on an Azure virtual machine provides the best lift-and-shift experience for workloads where OS-level access is required.
A SQL Server instance on an Azure Virtual Machine is the cloud equivalent of an on-premises SQL Server, running your mission critical applications on Azure. Azure offers unique Windows Server and SQL Server licensing benefits through Azure Hybrid Benefit, giving you the ability to run the same SQL Server with a better total cost of ownership (TCO), with low effort and great performance. Azure also offers that ability for you to automatically manage your Windows Servers using our recently announced Azure Automanage preview offering. Read more about it here.
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